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    Shopping Foreplay

           Last week, at my friend’s fiftieth birthday party, a group of women I had yet to meet commented on my attire, and a conversation started. Clothing serves as a staple conversation piece in our culture, both because it’s an easy thing to start talking about, and because it remains an evocative form of expression.
           My father found small talk incredibly boring, and I take right after him. I try to move conversations into the more meaningful realm pretty quickly, even if I’ve never met you. If we’re talking about the weather, for example, after we agree or disagree on how great it is or how much it sucks, I want to know if the weather fascinates you. If it doesn’t, what does? Let’s get beyond the completely superficial as soon as possible and get to something real, something interesting, something about you and something about me. I’ll show you a few of the cards in my deck. Are you willing to show me one of yours?
           So in this virgin conversation about clothing with these women I just met, I threw something against the wall, being pretty sure it would stick. I offered that I really enjoy clothes shopping with my honey. The girls’ ears perked up, their gazes fixed upon me, and they wanted to know more. So I told them.
           I said that, if I’m with a woman, it’s a foregone conclusion that I’m into what she looks like, and I’m into what she wears. She’s beautiful. So if I’m into her, it makes sense, to me, that watching her try on different outfits would be fun and exciting. And it is. The last time I went shopping with my ex-girlfriend, I watched her try on dresses in the petite section of.....some gigantic major department store (I’m always confusing the names of those places). I watched her try on pants at The Gap. I watched her try on shoes at DSW (even bought her a pair of sexy boots). I loved it. Totally turned me on. More than once.
           Most guys, I told the women, miss out on this. They focus on how boring shopping can be. They focus on what they’re missing out on. Maybe they focus on how much this might cost them. Possibly valid concerns, but those can be easily mitigated by putting parameters in place. And while they focus on all of that, there’s this hot babe they’re with, undressing over and over again, trying on outfits, some of which look great on her, right in front of them. Hello! Wake up boys!
           I asked the girls how many of their boyfriend’s, past or present, know their shoe size, and ever bought them a pair of shoes. No for both across the board. Again, men are asleep at the wheel here. Most women love shoes. When a man knows her shoe size, it means he’s paying attention. To her. To details. When he buys her a pair of shoes, in her size, that she digs, it means he’s paying even more attention to her, he’s making time for her, and he’s showing her he cares. Buying her a pair of shoes is an intimate act. Which could be another reason men don’t do it. Because intimacy is hard for most men.
           Men generally just do not pay enough attention to their female partners. These days, plenty of women don’t pay enough attention to their men either. If you’re not paying attention, you need to rediscover what about the person enthralls you. It’s still there, but sometimes you have to go looking for it. It’s gotten lost in the shuffle of life. What’s beautiful and remarkable about your lover gets buried beneath what’s not right about them, what’s not right about the relationship, what’s not right about your own life. Those things may be real. But that shit gets way too much air time in most relationships.
           Shopping with your partner can be an afternoon of foreplay. Especially if you can sneak or finagle your way into your girl’s dressing room while she’s trying stuff on (one of my favorites, but often difficult to pull off). Unfortunately, lots of men forget about foreplay just as well as they forget to pay attention. So it takes a shift of attitude, and focus, on a few levels. But it’s all right there. Right beneath the surface. Go find it. It's in the Women’s Shoes Department.

    ©2013 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart, and Red F Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

    Reader Comments (2)

    Very insightful and a different perspective. You may be onto something here Clint. Although I have a different perspective in that almost every time I buy my wife clothing, she is appreciative, but usually doesn't wear it! Of course you can only buy so much at Victoria's Secret!

    March 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJim Montgomery

    Monty! Great to hear from you. Thank you for reading and commenting. Wanna ask you.....Have you ever bought clothes for you wife while she's with you, at a store she chooses?


    March 30, 2013 | Registered CommenterClint Piatelli

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